UNL Extension Educator Requests Approved, Wayne County Emergency Management Gator Equipment Approved

WAYNE – Several reports were presented to the Wayne County Board of Commissioners during their regularly scheduled Tuesday evening meeting.

From the Wayne County Courthouse courtroom, Amy Topp UNL Extension Educator in Wayne County approached the board with a pair of requests.

After being hired last July, the 4-H assistant and youth development individual has left the position at the end of February. Topp brought forth more information to the board with the employee being a University of Nebraska Extension assistant, but county funded.

The salary was set at $35,800 last year and was increased to $38,000 as of January 1 with 50% of the benefit package being funded by the county. Commissioners approved 2-1 (Sievers in descent who disagrees that UNL gets to set the salary and doesn’t like not being able to make their own changes at the county level).

An extra incentive for the employee would include the individual would be able to receive 15 credit hours annually through UNL (covered by the University). Wayne County would be billed quarterly.

A second request was also approved for Wayne County funding $2,000 for the Connect the Dots ‘Career Exploration’ program for high school freshmen across Wayne County. The event hasn’t happed the last two years due to COVID and is being planned for later this fall.

Tammy Paustian, County Treasurer also stated there were 16 parcels for sale during the delinquent real estate tax sale return. Eight were sold to seven investors while a few more were paid for. Wayne County only has two parcels left to be paid.

Wayne County Emergency Manager, Nic Kemnitz also had several updates beginning with Severe Weather Awareness Week being March 21 – 25. On Wednesday, March 23, there’ll be a siren testing at 10 a.m. for the Wayne, Winside and Carroll. The courthouse will also be conducting their own mock tornado drill for those who’ll be in the building at 10 a.m. next Wednesday.

Kemnitz also passed out information pertaining to Avian Influenza as a positive case was found in Lincoln recently. Kemnitz will be joining a group in Knox County this week to prepare their equipment incase of a spread so they’re all on the same page.

COVID-19 test kits are also available in Wayne County by either contacting Wayne County Emergency Management or Northeast Nebraska Public Health. A mailbox was placed on the north end of the courthouse and for those needing the kits are being asked to call ahead.

Kemnitz then went through the handful of quotes he received from two companies to install emergency lights, a siren and public address system on their gator. After going over the information, the commissioners approved the bid of $3,643 from Tri-State Communications, Inc. from South Sioux City for the quad light bar package with 12 lights.

Highway Superintendent, Mark Casey will be advertising for bid after updating the truck specs. The bid opening will be on Tuesday, April 5 at 9:30 a.m.

Several county offices then passed along updates and reports from the Sheriff’s Office; Assessor; Maintenance; Treasurer; Emergency Management; District Court and County Clerk. Commissioners are just wanting this time to allow Wayne County offices to bring forward information to plan early if any future requests are being made.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Tuesday, April 5.